Cries about the financial un-sustainability of Obamacare are finally being heard coming from the health insurance companies. They are looking for approval to jack up the cost of premiums next year – just as many experts have been predicting since Obamacare sailed through congress without a single person who voted for it admitting to actually having read the bill.
Many insurers claim to be losing money at alarming rates and threaten to drop out of the marketplace altogether.
This comes on the heels of news that 8 of the 11 remaining Obamacare co-ops are expected to fail this year.
The Hill reports,
“Something has to give,” said Larry Levitt, an expert on the health law at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.”
While analysts expect the market to stabilize once premiums rise and more young, healthy people sign up, some observers have not ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the market, known in insurance parlance as a “death spiral.”
In the short term, there is a growing likelihood that insurers will push for substantial premium increases, creating a political problem for Democrats in an election year.
Insurers have been pounding the drum about problems with ObamaCare pricing.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association released a widely publicized report last month that said new enrollees under ObamaCare had 22 percent higher medical costs than people who received coverage from employers.
And a report from McKinsey & Company found that in the individual market, which includes the ObamaCare marketplaces, insurers lost money in 41 states in 2014, and were only profitable in 9 states.
“We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,” Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, said in February.
One of the largest insurers, UnitedHealth has already dropped its Obamacare plans in Arkansas and Georgia.
While the general consensus on the Republican side is that the law has not been working, Hillary Clinton has made it a part of her platform to strengthen the law and provide even greater subsidies.
As The Federalist reports,
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has hitched her health-care wagon to this slow-motion disaster, and voters deserve to know why she thinks it’s so great—or at least why she thinks it just needs some tweaks, like larger exchange subsidies and tax credits for out-of-pocket costs.
The truth is, Clinton doesn’t have a clue how Obamacare is supposed to work, which is why she thinks it’s working. Last month at a town hall in Ohio, a woman told Clinton her family’s health insurance bill went from $490 to $1,081 a month under Obamacare. “I would like to vote Democratic,” the woman said, “but it’s cost me a lot of money, and I’m just wondering if Democrats really realize how difficult it’s been on working-class Americans to finance Obamacare?”
Clinton’s answer? Keep shopping on the exchange. You might find a better deal! Clinton did admit, “We’re going to have to get the cost down,” but she also revealed she doesn’t understand what’s driving costs in the first place. What the exchanges really need, she said, are “more nonprofits” selling insurance so there’ll be “more competition.”
Do you think there is a disaster looming ahead if we can’t elect a president who can see sense when it comes to this issue? Have you seen your premiums go up at all because of Obamacare?